They have woken up from their winter hibernation, and now that the weather's warming up, they may be scouring the neighborhoods because they are hungry. The Glendale Police in Los Angeles, California is warning residents to be mindful as there have been sightings of a pair of bears.
Police said that both sightings took place on Saturday around Country Club and Greenmont drives and in the 3200 block of Beaudry Terrace. Those are connecting streets near the Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve and west of the Oakmont Country Club.
Bears are known to wander into populated areas when they get hungry and normal, natural sources of food are not available in their area.
Police officials have prepared a list of tips on its website for residents to avoid attracting unwanted bear guests in their homes. The site warns that California happens to have a large population of Black Bears. Their typical diet would consist of berries, plants, nuts, roots, honeycombs, bees, insects, fish, small mammals, and carrion. But bears can get used to humans and when given the opportunity, can cause property damage.
Some of the preventive measures households can take to avoid attracting bears in their homes are very simple. Such includes not putting out the trash cans the night before pick up, and garbage cans should be stored in a garage or closed shed. Garbage cans should also be kept clean, it's best to deodorize and disinfect them with bleach or ammonia. Fruits that fall from trees should be promptly picked up and collected. Fruits on trees should also be harvested quickly when they're ripe to avoid attracting bears.
Plants that attract bears such as berries including Dogwood should also be removed. Bird feeders and compost piles should also be eliminated. Barbecue grills outside the house should be cleaned and devoid of drippings that may also catch bears' attention. It is also a good option, police said, to buy bear spray and keep it next to the front or back door. Pet food should not be left outside the house, too.
The police also gave tips to people in the event of a close encounter with the predators. Individuals are encouraged to never hike alone and always stay on trails. Children should be kept close to adults. When a bear is within distance, the police said people should not approach the bear, but neither should they run from the animal to avoid provoking it. Always appear confident but not threatening when near the bear- stand tall, make eye contact, pick up small children without turning back on the animal. A person who finds himself in the presence of bears should also make himself appear bigger by raising arms, throwing stones or branches, making noise, and waving arms slowly and by speaking loudly.
Before Saturday's sightings, the last instance of a bear sighting in Glendale was in September, after residents saw several times the same black bear in the Whiting Woods neighborhood. Residents are asked to report bear sightings to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at (562) 598-1032.